Dr. Polard became a Clinical Psychologist in Germany (1993) and California (2001).

Andrea F. Polard, PsyD

Andrea F. Polard (see Bio) is a licensed Clinical Psychologist in private practice and founder of Zen Psychology Therapy (ZPT).

Author of:

Dr. Polard’s new books The 10 Habits of Sanity and The Heart Sutra will soon be available for preorder with bonus gifts.

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This book is the ultimate resource for flow experiences. Before I wrote it, I stumbled into happiness, in both the Western and Eastern sense. Then came twelve years of research. With this guide, anybody can learn to be happy.

Happiness requires our focused attention. It isn’t chasing the next moment, but “being completely engaged in the present moment.”

We are happy when we skillfully engage with:

  • others, especially in friendship and love,
  • goals that bring out the best in us,
  • and the All of which we are part.

What’s needed is a guide that shows how to engage fully. Personal breakthroughs, life-long meditation, and twelve years of research resulted in the only East-West synthesis that exists.
I offer:


A Unified Theory of Happiness:
An East-Meets-West Approach to Fully Loving Your Life.


This book is for anybody who is serious about happiness. I make user-friendly the science-based tools of the West and the paths of the wisdom traditions.

Instead of chasing after happiness and looking for it in the future, you will learn to “be here” and flourish. There is nothing better than feeling alive as if in a flow. You will get greater access to flow in two ways:

1. Proactive way: Generate flow with Western tools. With them you can master social connections and pursue inspiring goals with skill and confidence.

2. Supreme way: Halt and become receptive to the miracle of life on peaceful Eastern paths. You will discover the ever flow inherent in Being.

The book is enjoyable:
You can skip around as you see fit.
The Happiness Quiz helps navigate the book material. Try the automated version here.
There are many relate-able examples.
Each chapter is followed by an exercise section for practice.
There are images, graphs, and a touch of poetry that make the science go down like honey.

How do I know you can learn to walk the path of happiness?   Well, even I did….

Best Book Award


Spirituality Practices says it’s “One of the Best Spiritual Books”.



You cannot get much unhappier than I used to be in my youth. I lived in the hell of feeling separate from others and the world. There were some good things, such as meditating from an early age on. I was very drawn to spirituality. For example, I petitioned successfully for communion at the age of seven. As a young adult, I considered becoming a nun in a convent.

I was plagued by great doubt and questions, which, incidentally, collided with religious dogma. My most enduring question was: Can people like me be happy? I turned the question endlessly in my head, year after year, but the answer escaped me.

I became proactive and overcame posttraumatic stress, formed relationships, and pursued my goal of becoming a psychologist. Still I felt like a stranger in a strange world. Some things must come to us, such as the realization of being interconnected. Finally, silence struck me as I was climbing the stairs of my subway station while asking the oldest of my questions.

I halted. Suddenly I could hear and see as if for the first time. Even though it was loud all around me, the world unfolded quietly and peacefully in me.
The All made sense and became my home at once and for good. I noticed, I was happy.

If people like me can learn to engage with the world and flourish, anybody can.


Had I been more familiar with the tools of the West and the paths of the East, my journey would have been less arduous and a lot more pleasant. The book facilitates anybody’s journey.

While the book is not a cookie-cutter approach and requires on-going curiosity, it shows clearly how you can experience flow. Just don’t mistake happiness for “feeling wonderful.” True happiness goes beyond feelings. Instead, get ready to learn the SKILLS OF ENGAGEMENT.

Is it possible that you are too unhappy to be happy?

Yes. You might need professional support as I did and now offer as a Zen Psychologist. Asking for support is often the most consequential and courageous act of our lives.

However, do not ever postpone living your life to its fullest. You can work to heal your wounds, assure your basic needs are met, while also beginning to invite happiness into your life today.

Your life holds a promise every single moment you live. It’s never too early for flow experiences.


With the Western tools and Eastern paths, you will love your life more completely.

Why? Because you will get greater access to flow experiences that make you forget your irrational worries and fixations on things that ultimately don’t matter. You’ll learn to focus.

Flow connects you to something greater than yourself. The small world of ego vanishes as your sense of inter-connectedness sharpens. How?

You will learn to A) generate flow with four tools and B) tap into life’s existing flow on four paths.

Love and Social Connectedness

Competence in all Pursuits

Receptivity to the Flow of Life

Reliance on Something Greater than Self

Ambition for Your Goals/Passion

Confidence in all Pursuits

Tranquility/Deepening Inner Peace


The book ends with the bonus of The Theory of Elastic Consciousness. While nothing tops practice, this theory helps bring further together Western and Eastern ideas. As you get overall access to flow, you begin to flourish and LOVE LIFE exactly as it unfolds.


Most books on happiness promise ever-lasting bliss and endless positive feelings, as if to reject real life. There is nothing wrong with vulnerability. A well-lived life has ups-and-downs. A Unified Theory of Happiness teaches therefore to say “Yes” to life exactly as it unfolds.

A Unified Theory of Happiness first clarifies what happiness is before sharing the happiness-inviting habits. The definition is derived from real people’s testimony.

The book does not oversimplify. Happiness is not just one good attitude or one special skill. The book lays out all areas in which we need to focus and helps build up an array of crucial skills.

The book is special as it helps the reader walk this path. It is the most comprehensive guide on the market and considered ground-breaking by experts. With a balance of practical tools and transformative wisdom, it is a treasure box for scientific and ancient resources.

Many say that they keep the book at their bedside. It is:

real and down to earth
full of useful information and wisdom


“Polard’s book, backed with research that carefully examines the being-doing dichotomy, not only shows how each dimension has a vital part in the progress of an awakened life but also provides much useful advice on how to make it so.”


Author of Zen Therapy and The Feeling Buddha

“Life-changing book! If you put into practice what Dr. Polard suggests, you will see radical changes in your life – for the better!”


Author of The Girl God

“A Unified Theory of Happiness is an engaging, warm-hearted, and essential book for anyone looking for sincere ways to find inner peace in modern time.”


Author of Motherless Daughters and The Possibility of Everything

“I wholeheartedly recommend “A Unified Theory of Happiness” to anyone who has more than a glancing acquaintanceship with the inner world and who is motivated to fulfillment and to realizing their potential.”


Author of Your Sacred Calling

“A major contribution to the fields of positive and transpersonal psychology.”


Author of Wise Mind, Open Mind

“Whoever dares to follow the practical guidelines offered in this book risks achieving an interconnected, meaningful, and balanced–in short, happy–life.”


Author of Clinical Intuition in Psychotherapy, Psyche’s Veil, and Creativity Inside Out.

Who AM I


My consciousness is entangled with yours, which means that we are sharing the most important part of life. Surely, it is unclear where my consciousness begins and yours ends.

I love to write about flow as I experience it most of the time. As I remember life without flow all too well, it is my greatest desire to help make it accessible to my fellow people. Besides happiness, I also write about the awakened, aware mind, which are, as I realized, two subjects, not one. They are different but related.

My life is not perfect and I am not always as jovial as I am when I walk my dog on a sunny day. When there is a loss, I am as sad as everybody else. I have made friends with my vulnerability. Key to my happiness is the “know-how” I am sharing in A Unified Theory of Happiness, but also the radical acceptance of life as it unfolds in me.

I have never believed that happiness is feeling wonderful all the time. Instead, I feel the wonder of life all the time.

Besides being a writer and a psychologist in private practice, I live in the quiet mountains of Topanga with my husband and three children, our dog Bella, chickens, and several odd and interesting fish. Nature cures me from most of my ills. I consider nature my temple in which I practice walking meditation every day of my life.


Please choose the format convenient to you.


Happiness is an overused word, but I decided to go for it and define it to move common language towards more depth. Why let pop culture define happiness? It is time to give the word more meaning and listen to the poets and those who have thought through the subject.

Flow and flourishing are words I also use. They are beautiful, but estrange many who are unfamiliar with them. They need an explanation.

Joy is too blissful for the simple experience of participating fully in life.

Contentment, however essential to happiness as defined in the A Unified Theory of Happiness, does not accurately describe an invigorating, open-heart experience. I like “overwhelming contentment,” but one word beats two words.

So, “happiness” it is.

Discover the tools and paths of happiness, which will sharpen and beautify your mind.

While we will never be able to grasp happiness – we cannot grasp any experience! – we can become skillful in inviting it.
Become a good host for flow experiences and BUY A UNIFIED THEORY OF HAPPINESS NOW